ERIC ALLSUP

1. City residents have expressed a need for improved communication with the City. What, specifically, will you do to improve communication between the City and its residents? What role, if any, does social media play in your plan?

I think communication is the most important thing within the city. This is the one thing a lot of cities lack. I believe there should be notices sent out to all parties involved in a policy change before it is passed to let the residents know so they can express their concerns at a council meeting. As for contradictory information, everybody should be on the same page communicating between city council, the mayor and city employees. This can be improved. If everybody is on the same page then in social media will be too. All council minutes will be in The Progress Review and the city website.

 2. Increasing concern has been raised about the condition of the City’s streets. Where does this issue rank in your priorities for the City over the next four years? How will you go about determining what streets get repaired and when?

The city streets are number one priority with me. This is why I started working part-time fixing and repairing the streets. It takes a lot of money for repairs. I would like to see the worst and heaviest used [streets] be the first [repaired]. At the time of repair I believe all sewer, water, and other repairs need to be done.

 3. La Porte City’s proximity to Waterloo creates particular challenges for local business owners to compete with and succeed. A thriving business district can strengthen the local economy, ease the property tax burden of local homeowners and allow the City to continue providing a wide range of services for its citizens. In your opinion, what role, if any, should city government play in attracting and retaining local businesses? As an elected official, what will you do to promote economic development in La Porte City?

The economic development for any small town is always a concern. No matter what is done there will always be those challenges with a bigger town close by. I believe we need to work on making our community a better attraction for developers to want to come to La Porte City. If we do this and offer some incentives, like tax breaks, we may be able to attract those developers.

 4. Beyond the issues raised by area citizens (questions 1-4), please make a brief statement in support of your candidacy.

If I’m elected, I would start with communication with the citizens of La Porte City. This will be a learning experience for me. I believe I can bring many new and fresh ideas to our community. I want to take an active role and work with the mayor, council members and the residents of La Porte. I also want to thank all who are candidates for a position. This gives the people a choice who they want to represent them.

GARY R. FORNEY

1. City residents have expressed a need for improved communication with the City. What, specifically, will you do to improve communication between the City and its residents? What role, if any, does social media play in your plan?

Not everyone in LPC views or listens to the same media. Unfortunately, some get their city news from Waterloo mediums. We need to provide a free newsletter, or something similar such as public posting, which I have seen, that will reach more people. I propose the city provide a free newsletter mailed to all residents.

 2. Increasing concern has been raised about the condition of the City’s streets. Where does this issue rank in your priorities for the City over the next four years? How will you go about determining what streets get repaired and when?

One of the main problems with the streets is how narrow they are. There is nothing that can be done about it since most people are unwilling to part with their property to widen the streets. Actually, street repair is a matter of budgeting, which needs to come higher up in the city priorities. My main concern is priority spending, and streets certainly need to be higher on the list than they seem to be now.

 3. La Porte City’s proximity to Waterloo creates particular challenges for local business owners to compete with and succeed. A thriving business district can strengthen the local economy, ease the property tax burden of local homeowners and allow the City to continue providing a wide range of services for its citizens. In your opinion, what role, if any, should city government play in attracting and retaining local businesses? As an elected official, what will you do to promote economic development in La Porte City?

I am very disturbed by the recent money coming from sources that I wonder about, such as gambling. There is little that can be done to draw in new industry and business to LPC. If a major business or industry were looking for a place to locate, competition would be stiff. I suggest we have enough businesses here. What we need to do is attract a tourist trade! Many other cities thrive on tourist trade. Once the tourist come into town, they tend to linger  and spend money locally. LPC has many sites that could be promoted, or converted, to draw tourism.

 4. Beyond the issues raised by area citizens (questions 1-4), please make a brief statement in support of your candidacy.

Community. Tourism. Art & Music.

 

BRENT SADLER

1. City residents have expressed a need for improved communication with the City. What, specifically, will you do to improve communication between the City and its residents? What role, if any, does social media play in your plan?

Communication is critical to ensure all citizens are provided the same information.  City Council minutes, Festival of Trails, Party in the Park, Chocolate Walks, Fall Festivals, and Religious Education camps are a few examples of the many activities that should be advertised and communicated throughout our city.  Our city needs to explore new ways of communicating information in our city.  La Porte City has just added Fusion cable service to our community.  As more residents choose to use this service in their homes, the city needs to also utilize this service to relay information to its residents.  Possibilities include streaming of city council meetings using a channel dedicated solely to information/advertisements for La Porte City.  This channel could include upcoming events, weather, anniversaries, birthdays, fundraisers, etc.  Social media also plays a significant role in communication. With so many local users on facebook and twitter, it is essential that we take advantage of these options to  advertise and communicate information.

 2. Increasing concern has been raised about the condition of the City’s streets. Where does this issue rank in your priorities for the City over the next four years? How will you go about determining what streets get repaired and when?

As do many of the citizens of La Porte, I agree that our streets are in much need of repair or even replacement.  I also believe this needs be a high priority.  With that being said, I understand that the costs to replace our streets would be significant.  The funding for this project comes from our tax dollars.  As stated in a previous answer, it is critical that we work on ways to generate income to help fund these improvements.  Believe me, I share the same frustrations as most of you, especially right now as many of our streets are being worked on all at once.  This is a BIG inconvenience!  However, in general, repairs usually cost less when all the machinery/materials can be brought out at once instead of several times throughout the year.  I believe we should be looking at ways to repair our streets until funds are available for a complete replacement starting with streets that are the most traveled.  I would also like to look in to state funding to help with the repairs on our farm to market roads.

 3. La Porte City’s proximity to Waterloo creates particular challenges for local business owners to compete with and succeed. A thriving business district can strengthen the local economy, ease the property tax burden of local homeowners and allow the City to continue providing a wide range of services for its citizens. In your opinion, what role, if any, should city government play in attracting and retaining local businesses? As an elected official, what will you do to promote economic development in La Porte City?

I think city government should play a prominent role in attracting and retaining local businesses. As an elected official, I will look for opportunities/incentives for new businesses to come to La Porte City, whether it is through grants, tax reductions, etc. It is these local businesses that would help bring citizens from other towns into our town and generate the income we need to make the necessary improvements for our community. I will help to promote economic development in La Porte City in many different ways.  I would look at funding and/or volunteer opportunities with construction of new business. Advertisement of events being held in La Porte City to not only attract local residents, but residents from other towns is also very important. I will explore the idea of a town hall style meeting with the owners of local businesses for input on things they think the city could help with to make their business a success.  Another area I would look at would be incentives for residents to patronize local business, possibly through a punch card or discounts.

 4. Beyond the issues raised by area citizens (questions 1-4), please make a brief statement in support of your candidacy.

In closing, please understand that I am in no way a politician.  I do not have solutions to all of our problems, and this will be a learning experience over the next several years. Many of my answers are only my initial thoughts, as I assess this city from the outside. If elected, I hope to see many of these ideas come to fruition. I am a husband to a wonderful wife and father to three beautiful children. My family is the most important part of my life. Together, my wife and I have volunteered our time and invested our money into this city because we know the importance of a strong community.  We choose to raise our children here and plan to live here for many years to come. I will do my absolute best to provide the citizens of this city with well thought out ideas, plans, and solutions to make La Porte City a community that anyone would be proud to call home.

 

TED STEFFENS

1. City residents have expressed a need for improved communication with the City. What, specifically, will you do to improve communication between the City and its residents? What role, if any, does social media play in your plan?

Citizens should know what proposals are being discussed prior to making a decision in policies and changes. This can be done by a first or second reading of the policy and leaving the issue open long enough, when applicable, for feedback.  Residents need to know where they may get this information, either by local paper, going to council meetings or up to date information on the city website for those who can access it. I’m not aware of any other cities doing this but a social network like facebook could be a good tool to get out and receive information on new city policies because of the growing number of people using it. I do believe though something like a facebook to relay and receive information needs to be regulated closely as some facebook pages can be abused and give false information.

 2. Increasing concern has been raised about the condition of the City’s streets. Where does this issue rank in your priorities for the City over the next four years? How will you go about determining what streets get repaired and when?

The condition of city streets has been a concern for some time and I think a plan needs to be put in place. It will continue to be one of my issues to try and keep this progress going. I think streets that are used most and in worse [condition] should try and be done first. However, funding could play a role in this depending on what is available. If funding in a certain time frame doesn’t allow for a longer street, then we may have to look at getting a shorter portion done on the street or a shorter street [in need of] repair at the same time. We need to keep [making] progress [repairing} our streets.

 3. La Porte City’s proximity to Waterloo creates particular challenges for local business owners to compete with and succeed. A thriving business district can strengthen the local economy, ease the property tax burden of local homeowners and allow the City to continue providing a wide range of services for its citizens. In your opinion, what role, if any, should city government play in attracting and retaining local businesses? As an elected official, what will you do to promote economic development in La Porte City?

The city should have a role in bringing in business and promoting this somehow, possibly with a beginning tax break or other means that need researched. Over the years I’ve lived here, I have seen a lot of businesses come and go and it seems like a lot [have gone] in recent years. We need to make it attractive for business owners to set up shop here.

 4. Beyond the issues raised by area citizens (questions 1-4), please make a brief statement in support of your candidacy.

As I’ve commented before, I’ve been a longtime citizen of La Porte City and I want to help make it grow. I think we have a good base for growth in that we have a great school system, public safety services and availability for new business.  I’m ready to make a four year commitment to the city and its citizens and, after that, I hope to have made an impact for the better of the present and future.